Things are kind of slow nowadays when it comes to NBA news, so it’s time to let our imagination flow and start the debate, discussing why our favorite (or least favorite) players are better than others, and creating our very own player ranking.
But, we’ve got to be objective down here, so let’s take our fanaticism aside and discuss facts, stats and real reasons why one of these guys would be at the top of the list, instead of just hating and letting the heart got in the way of reason.
So today, we’re going to take 10 of the best 20 players in the Association and rank them, stating why we believe one of them may be better than the other: Andrew Wiggins, Jimmy Butler, Paul George, Kyrie Irving, Damian Lillard, John Wall, DeMar DeRozan, Carmelo Anthony, Gordon Hayward and Isaiah Thomas, and we encourage you to do your own ranking at home and share it with us.
10. Andrew Wiggins
Andrew Wiggins entered the league with a lot of praise some seasons ago, having a defensive upside that’s just off the charts while also owning an extremely developed body that was already ready for NBA level.
Still, even if he’s improved and has managed to gain a lot of more consistency on offense, his shot is still kind of broken and he’s disappeared when it mattered the most, although his averages of 20.3 points, 4.1 boards and 2.1 assists after three full seasons are still quite good.
9. Isaiah Thomas
Isaiah Thomas is the definition of a late bloomer, being a guy that was extremely hard to trust considering how horrid his defense is and the fact that he’s way smaller than most of his opposition, having a really hard time to establish himself in the league.
Nonetheless, his hard work and incredible talent have made him one of the league’s most prolific scorers since this prior campaign, when he actually led the league in 4th quarter scoring, averaging 28.9 points and 5.9 assists on 46.3% from the field.
8. Gordon Hayward
Next on our list, we have Gordon Hayward, Isaiah’s most recent teammate, and a guy that’s quietly improved in pretty much every aspect of the game since entering the league 7 seasons ago.
And now, finally entering his prime and wanting to prove his value, he’s got a golden opportunity to become the Celtics’ franchise player under Brad Stevens’ tutelage, although he’s still got some work to do when it comes to his shot.
7. Jimmy Butler
Jimmy Butler has also improved a lot since entering the league as an average prospect, becoming an extremely dominant two-way player and the ultimate face of the Bulls during the end of the Thibodeau era and the start of the Fred Hoiberg tenure.
And now, having a lot to prove as the newest reinforcement on the entertaining young Minnesota Timberwolves project, we might as well be on the verge of witnessing yet another breakout year for Jimmy Butler, a guy that may win the MVP award if he could shoot from distance.
6. Carmelo Anthony
After over a decade in the Association, Carmelo Anthony’s still an elite basketball player. Either you love him or you hate him, but you just can’t disrespect one of the most prolific scorers in the history of the game.
Averaging 24.8 points and 6.6 rebounds on over 45% from the field through his career, he just doesn’t get the appreciation he deserves, while also recording over 3.3 dimes per contest despite being called selfish and ball hogger.
5. Paul George
The fact that Paul George actually bounced back stronger than ever from that career-jeopardizing injury he suffered with Team USA make him even scarier, showing that Mamba Mentality and the determination to keep improving year after year despite being against all odds.
George isn’t a good defender, in fact, he’s not even an average defender; but he makes up for that with his versatility, his feel for the game, his killer instinct and his determination to win, and we just can’t wait to see him alongside Russell Westbrook this upcoming season.
4. DeMar DeRozan
When we all thought the last shooting guard that was going to actually succeed in modern NBA without being a steady three point shooter was going to be Dwyane Wade, DeMar DeRozan surged out of nowhere was one of the league’s most dominant scorers.
Taking several pages out of Kobe’s book, DeRozan just manages to pull off incredible shots and has improved his ability to finish through contact and constantly get to the line, finding dozens of ways to score despite being one of the league’s worst shooters from distance.
3. Damian Lillard
Damian Lillard is yet another incredibly underrated player, being constantly snubbed from All-Star and Team USA selections despite being one of the league’s fiercest and clutchest scorers.
Lillard will score against the best of them, and he’s also a more than willing playmaker that just doesn’t get enough credit and help from his teammates not called CJ McCollum, and given the right environment, he could actually become a top 5 point guard despite being a huge liability on defense.
2. John Wall
John Wall entered the league as a terrible shooter with a lot of upsides, but also a lot of question marks over his head. Nonetheless, it’s pretty safe to say that he’s shut the mouth of all his haters, becoming one of the league’s elite point guards over the last couple of campaigns.
Wall has become the fastest guy in the entire Association and is a one man fast break that just won’t be stopped. Besides, his defense has vastly improved and he’s the second best passer in the league behind only Chris Paul.
1. Kyrie Irving
And the first spot on our list goes to a guy that might as well wind up on another team to start the next season: Kyrie Irving. Of course, Irving’s not the best defender you’ll see and lacks that pass-first mentality that you’d like on a point guard.
Nonetheless, at the tender age of 25, Kyrie Irving’s an NBA Champion, a former Rookie of the Year, an Olympic and World gold medalist, a 4 time All-Star (in just 6 seasons), an All-Star MVP, a World Cup MVP and the guy with the best handles, crossover and layup skills in the league nowadays, and the sky’s the limit for Uncle Drew, averaging 21.6 points, 5.5 assists and 1.3 so far in his young and promising NBA career.